Larry Bird Explains How He Was Always Two Steps Ahead Of His Opponents

  • 6.09.2023 21:44:10

* Larry Bird was all about planning ahead and that helped him read the game better

* The Boston Celtics legend was known for his visualizing of game situations

* Bird also had the skills that made him one of the best players in the league

Larry Bird was always two steps ahead of his opponents. And in his element, he was often playing chess when the rest were playing checkers.

By his own admission, Bird explained how he would always see things before they happened, given his meticulous approach to the game and the plans he made prior to taking the floor or executing a play. Speaking to

Sports Illustrated: "If the clock gets to around 10, I'm just gonna try to get a shot up because we haven't got time to move the ball around two or three times."

He further added: "If they send their big man over to double me, then our big man just follows him to the basket, and I give it to him. That's easy. If a guard comes over to pick me up, maybe I can shoot over him. If we cut a man through to the basket and nobody picks him up, or his man stops to double-team me, then I can make the pass to him."

"If the defender goes on with our guy, then they might have to send someone else over. Then I either have the guard that went through on the low post or the other guard coming over from the top of the key for a jump shot."

A look at his words shows how Bird was prepared for every eventuality. Add to this his ability to play the team game of passing and rebounding, the Celtics legend was one of the best players to have played in the NBA.

Larry Bird Proved Critics Wrong When They Questioned His Athleticism
Perhaps, one of the biggest criticisms that Larry Bird faced was the fact that he was not as athletic as some of his peers. That though couldn't be more wrong as the three-time NBA champion had his speed and endurance levels on point, even if it wasn't on the same page as Michael Jordan.

Per Sportscasting, his former teammate Greg Kite lavished praise on Bird's skills on the floor.

"It's just wrong to say he wasn't athletic and you hear it a lot," Kite said about Bird. "Everybody in the NBA is athletic. Maybe he wasn't as fast as certain guys, but he was a good, solid athlete. He had adequate speed and quickness, but everybody in the NBA is athletic."

And the numbers prove it all. In his 13 seasons in the league, Bird averaged 24.3 points and 10.0 rebounds. This was a prime example that he had the skills and the endurance to play at an elite level.

In Addition To His Skills, Larry Bird Was A Legendary Trash Talker

Larry Bird was known for his legendary trash-talking, and it was the perfect mind game for him to psyche out his opponents. 

Earlier, former Celtics GM Danny Ainge revealed why Bird would talk about the level of trash he would on the floor. In a recent episode on the Knuckleheads Podcast, Ainge shed light on Bird's trash-talking, asserting that it wasn't a consistent behavior but rather a calculated strategy: "Larry was a quiet guy, and he wasn't like a loud and obnoxious personality. But he had a great sense of humor. He was a character."

"Most of the time, his trash-talking seemed like it was for motivation. It wasn't like he was always just trash-talking to everybody. It was spotty, but when he did it, it was big."

There was a reason why Bird made a case for himself as one of the greatest players to have played the sport and the aforementioned traits set him apart from other players, making him the best of the best.

Source: fadeawayworld

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